The Alabama State Bar provides legislative status reports concerning pending legislation that may be of interest to our members. The reports divide legislation into the following categories for your convenience: criminal, domestic relations, judicial, court costs, elections ethics and government relations (EEGR), civil/ general and tax. To view these reports, click here.
This week, the legislature held a three-day work week for the fourth time since the 2021 session began. Lawmakers are moving at a rapid pace, filling the days with both committee work and sessions. They have now completed 12 of the 30 possible session days.
Next week will be the first two-day week of the session. Despite the work of committees and the pace, many new bills are still being filed. The total number of bills introduced in the House of Representatives is 507, and there have been 307 bills introduced in the Senate.
Some legislation of interest introduced this week includes:
- Changes to the the Alabama Non-Disparagement Obligations Act
- Changes to criminal marijuana laws
- Legislation addressing facial recognition used in arrests
- Legislation relating to certain financial transactions
- Changes to ad valorem taxes on real property
- Changes to the Uniform Trust Code
- A bill concerning grandparent visitation
- Changes to the contract review process
There was also a bill proposing changes to the structure of judicial compensation as recommended by the Judicial Compensation Commission, and several bills were introduced creating new judgeships.
With committee meetings starting on Tuesday before session and again on Wednesday, many bills moved through the process of review and debate this week. One bill of interest in committee addressed some changes to the notary process as set forth in the Governor’s COVID-19 emergency order and codifying of that process.
There was also debate on marijuana penalties, DUI law changes, deceptive trade practices, changes to ignition interlock device requirements, and breaches of trust under the Alabama Uniform Trust Act. Additionally, the General Fund budget was moved out of the Ways and Means Committee in the House of Representatives.
Many local bills received passage this week. In addition, bills passing out of their house of origin included an expansion of broadband in the Senate and state agency legislation in the House. All the “sunset” bills were sent to the Governor after final passage in the Senate.
As always, the Alabama State Bar encourages all members to be aware of legislation that may impact court costs and fees. Access to justice is a priority. Please be aware of advertisements that may be occurring for local bills and those that may already be filed to use the courts as a fundraiser for non-court entities. We encourage you to be informed and notify us as well.
The regular session of the 2021 Legislative Session is proceeding as follows:
- The Senate has adjourned until Tuesday, Mar. 9, 2021 at 2:00 p.m.
- The House has adjourned until Tuesday, Mar. 9, 2021 at 1:00 p.m.